Gynecology - Ovarian Cysts (PCOS) - Ovarian Cysts in Pre-menopausal Women

The “Ovarian Cyst” in the Premenopausal Woman

Because most all adnexal masses in the premenopausal woman are benign, the initial evaluation is directed by the patient’s symptoms.  Immediate intervention is usually indicated in the patient who presents with pain. Rarely does a patient who presents with acute pain have a malignancy. 

The painful adnexal mass is usually due to a tubo-ovarian abscess, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian torsion or ruptured ovarian cyst.  The painless adnexal mass may be a paratubal cyst, which ranges in size from 1 cm to 20 cm and is often an incidental finding in women ages 30-40.  Obtaining a medical history, physical examination, beta-hCG level, complete blood count and transvaginal ultrasound may aid in the  diagnosis.


There is no definite way to prevent the growth of ovarian cysts. You should have a physical exam, including a pelvic exam and Pap test, every year or as often as your health care provider recommends. Doing this will help ensure that changes in your ovaries are diagnosed as early as possible.


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